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Old 12-25-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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Liberation Fighters Tell Pakistani Government: Put Bitches In Their Place

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Taliban extremists in Pakistan's troubled northwest Swat valley have banned girls from attending school, threatening to kill any female students, officials said Thursday.

The threat was delivered this week by local Taliban commander Shah Durran in an address carried on an illegally-run radio station in the area, local officials told AFP.

"You have until January 15 to stop sending your girls to schools. If you do not pay any heed to this warning, we will kill such girls," one official quoted the commander as saying.

"We also warn schools not to enrol any female students; otherwise, their buildings will be blown up."

The mountainous Swat valley was until last year a popular tourist destination featuring Pakistan's only ski resort.

But the region has been turned into a battleground since radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has links to Pakistan's Taliban movement, launched a violent campaign for the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the valley.
Durran said local Taliban leaders were determined not to allow girls to attend school, saying: "We want to enforce the true Sharia in the area -- for this, we are fighting and laying down our lives."

Swat residents said Taliban fighters had already destroyed scores of government-run schools, leading some to set up private schools in their homes to educate girls.

An official at the Pakistani education ministry said there are about 1,580 schools registered in Swat -- once known for its top-flight schools.
But the official, Naeem Khan, told AFP: "Already Taliban militants have destroyed 252 schools, mainly those where girls and boys were studying together."

Education has suffered badly in Swat as a result of the ongoing fighting between Taliban-linked militants and security forces, with only a handful of schools still open in the region's main city Mingora, Khan said.

The government had reached a deal with the rebels in May to gradually pull out troops and introduce an Islamic justice system in exchange for an end to rebel attacks, but the violence eventually resumed.
AFP: Taliban threaten to kill Pakistani schoolgirls: officials

What is it about religious fanatics and contempt for education, its like a universal constant.
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Few things symbolize progress in the fight against poverty better than the face of an educated girl. And I was fortunate enough to see hundreds of them during a trip to Afghanistan in 2006. Those faces, eager and alert, lit up the courtyard of a new school built to educate 1,000 girls in central Afghanistan’s Bamian province.

Gone were the days of Taliban rule, when girls were forbidden to study and women weren’t allowed to teach. Afghanistan’s future leaders could learn - out in the open.

Perhaps that is why last month’s brutal attack on a group of Afghan schoolgirls in the southern city of Kandahar was so heartbreaking. The students were walking to school in uniforms. Two men wielding water pistols drove by on motorcycles and sprayed battery acid.

They took aim at that same symbol of progress, the one that has inspired me and so many others.

At least three of the girls were hospitalized for severe burns on their faces, according to media reports. Afghan authorities later reported that they had arrested 10 Taliban militants in connection with the attack.

One of the girls spoke courageously from her hospital bed, with yellow ointment covering an eye damaged by the acid. “I will go to my school even if they kill me,” she told reporters. “My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.

The world must stand behind her.
washingtonpost.com

Good thing we can finally quit that bad war, reach an accommodation with the more moderate elements of the Taliban, leave the Afghans to clean up their own mess, and rest easy with the knowledge that Bush lost it.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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Yes, this has been one of the many violent and repressive consequences of increasing Talibanisation in Swat and numerous other parts of NWFP and FATA.

"We," however, are not in FATA or NWFP, and particularly if Pakistan continues to withdraw troops from those areas in response to escalating tensions with India as they presently appear to be doing, this particular "mess" is not one we're in any position to help clean up.
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